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Cyberattacks inflict deep harm at technology-rich schools

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FILE – In this June 19, 2018, file photo, a router and internet switch are displayed in East Derry, N.H. The FBI said cyberattacks have become common at schools, which are attractive targets because they hold sensitive data and provide critical public services. Malicious use of the data could lead to bullying, tracking and identity theft, the agency said. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

AVON, Conn. (AP) — Cyberattacks on schools are leading to disruptions in instruction in districts that have thoroughly integrated technology.

The FBI says cyberattacks have become common at schools, which are attractive targets because they hold sensitive data and provide critical public services. The agency says perpetrators include criminals motivated by profit, juvenile pranksters and possibly foreign governments.

The widespread adoption of education technology, which generates data that officials say can make schools more of a target for hackers, also worsens an attack’s effects when instructional tools are rendered useless by internet outages.

A series of attacks over the course of six weeks brought instruction to a halt at a 4,000-student school district in Avon, Connecticut.

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